Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Heat

We're right in the midst of a heatwave here in NYC (and, from what I've heard, most of the US). When your skin is as fair as mine, dresses that cover the shoulders and the upper arm are a must to avoid sunburn, particularly given the destructive effects of humidity on sunblock. Given my resolve not to buy a dress until the end of the month (a vow that I've kept despite missing out on a coveted Rachel Comey frock on deep markdown), I've had to dig deep into my closet.

Here, however, I've had some pleasant surprises. I've found three dresses that fit my bill--cotton, short sleeves and loose enough to withstand extreme heat. I'm not saying I forgot about these dresses, nor that they somehow vanished amidst my overstuffed closet, but rather I tended to overlook them or had pigeonholed them for alternate uses/seasons/life stages.

Today, I'm wearing one of the Uniqlo Phillip Lim dresses that I stood in line for back in May 2007 (I can't believe it was that long ago). It's a plaid school girl-ish dress in cotton that was just under $50 and, like most of their early design collaborations, is far better made than subsequent lines. I think I'd decided to reserve this one for cooler days with dark tights and then it just became victim to being an older and cheaper dress. But it's actually quite delightful and has held up well with age.

Yesterday I wore my Lyell red dress. I remember that there were production issues with the fabric and dye in this one, and somehow when I got it I remember thinking it was a bit costumey as well as a little long. I still think it is longer than I'd like, but it is soft, bright and relatively cool for a dress with a fitted waist. So back in the rotation it goes. This dress is like new as I think I only wore it twice. It's even older than the dress above, being a piece of the only partly produced Summer 2006 collection.

The third item has the least design credentials. It's a cotton trapeze H&M dress in an orange and white floral pattern that was heavily inspired by one of the Chloe collections. Ironically, it's probably my favorite of the lot. It has pockets, cap sleeves, and is in a lovely 60s style print in a perfect crisp cotton. I have no picture of this one as yet.

Now the challenge is to survive the next few days. No dress can aptly deal with this level of heat as the high 90s are on the horizon but at least I'm doing well enough without splurging on something new this month.


swinny said...

"and somehow when I got it I remember thinking it was a bit costumey"

it's the letty lynton sleeves. :D

Marti said...

I find myself when its REALLY hot in anything from H&M or anthropologie. for some reason they seem to hold up better than Mayle or any of my nicer dresses. Moya not envious of your heat - but we have RAIN!!!!